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Montana

2017-09-22 Westbound; Moving on to Couer d’Alene, Idaho…

Another easy drive today.  We relaxed and spent the morning in the Villa. It was still cold, and it was raining off and on.  I hitched up early, and we pulled out at about 11:00 am.

2017-09-22 Missoula 01 KOA

We drove north through the beautiful Montana countryside:

2017-09-22 Montana 04

2017-09-22 Montana 01

We stopped for a break to do some walking; before too long we crossed over into Idaho:

2017-09-22 Map Idaho

It was a short drive to Couer d’Alene, Idaho, where Airstream friends from SoCal have moved;  we found their house and parked the Villa:

2017-09-22 Idaho 03 Walters House

We immediately noticed a visitor in their front yard:

2017-09-22 Idaho 01 Walters Deer

We had a lovely afternoon visiting and walking about the neighborhood; we shared a delicious dinner with Brent and Cheryl Walters…

We retired to the Villa.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

Also, since this is a short post, here are the latest photos of our grandchildren, back home in Hollywood:

2017-09-17 McAnoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-21 Westbound; A day in Missoula…

We had a quiet morning in the KOA, doing laundry, walking, and blogging.

We found this interesting building nearby which has taken the concept of a “green roof” to a new level:

2017-09-21 Missoula 01 KOA

At about noon we drove back to downtown Missoula; it is quite a bit larger than downtown Bozeman.

Missoula is a great little city; population is about 72,000; it is home to University of Montana.  It was founded in 1860 as Hellgate Trading Post.  In 1866 the settlement moved east, and was renamed Missoula Mills, later shortened to Missoula.  The mills provided supplies to western settlers traveling along the Mullan Road. The establishment of Fort Missoula in 1877 to protect settlers further stabilized the economy.  The arrival of the Northern Pacific Railway in 1883 brought rapid growth and the maturation of the local lumber industry.  In 1893, the Montana Legislature chose the city as the site for the state’s first university.  Along with the U.S. Forest Service headquarters founded in 1908, lumber and the university remained staples of the local economy for the next hundred years.

We walked the streets and enjoyed the ambiance of an active city:

2017-09-21 Missoula 10

2017-09-21 Missoula 09

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We found this great building.  We think it would be great fun to live in a “penthouse” apartment like this:

2017-09-21 Missoula 06

2017-09-21 Missoula 07

By about 1:30 we were ready for lunch.  While we reviewed our lunch options we stopped into James Bar for a pre-lunch cocktail:

2017-09-21 Missoula 02 James Bar

We decided to have lunch at the Iron Horse Brewery, not because we drink much beer, but because breweries usually have good food.  We were not disappointed:

2017-09-21 Missoula 03 Iron Horse Brewery

2017-09-21 Missoula 04 Iron Horse Brewery

We had a lovely lunch, walked around a bit more, then headed back to the Villa.  We relaxed and eventually Happy Hours ensued.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-20 Westbound; From Bozeman to Missoula…

We had an easy morning, and left Bozeman at about 9:00 am.  The countryside is beautiful:

2017-09-20 01 Montana 01 River

As we drove we got to thinking; we Googled some information on our recent drives:

City                                    Elevation

Hill City, SD                      5,159′

Buffalo, WY                     4.646′

Billings, MT                     3,123′

Bozeman, MT                 4,820′

Butte, MT                        5,538′

Missoula, MT                 3,209′

We’ve been going up and down, climbing up mountains and cruising down into valleys. Out side of Butte we climbed to about 6,400′, until we saw snow on the ground next to the highway:

2017-09-20 01 Montana 02 Snow

2017-09-20 01 Montana 03 Snow

2017-09-20 01 Montana 04 Snow

The temperature read-out on the dashboard dropped down to 37 degrees… And then the windshield started getting wet, but we could not hear rain.  Yep:  Snow!

2017-09-20 01 Montana 05 Snow

2017-09-20 01 Montana 06 Snow

2017-09-20 01 Montana 07 Snow

Certainly a first for us on this trip.  (I think the last time I drove while it was snowing was on the way to Mammoth Mountain in 1982…)  Obviously, at 37 degrees, the snow was not sticking to the road, but we slowed down a bit.  It was quite a trip!

We eventually arrived in Missoula and checked into the KOA.  It is probably the nicest KOA we have stayed at.  Huge sites, lots of grass, moderate number of trees (good for satellite TV), and just around the corner from lots of suburban shopping centers, in case we need anything.  (We don’t…)

We took the advice of the folks at bisl in Bozemon; we went to The Pearl Cafe for dinner. As avante garde as bisl was last night, The Pearl is not.  Traditional French Bistro. Wonderful.

2017-09-20 01 Montana 10 The Pearl Cafe

We shared the Charcuterie plate, then we shared Bison Tenderloin. And a bottle of Gigondas…

2017-09-20 01 Montana 09 The Pearl Cafe

We asked for some lunch recommendations for tomorrow.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-19 Westbound; From Billings to Bozeman…

We left Billings and headed to Bozeman.  We climbed some mountains, and we cruised down into some valleys… Montana is beautiful!

2017-09-19 Montana 01

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The snow-capped mountains and the cloud-filled skies were beautiful, and we moved easily along.  We moved into the RV park, and set up the Villa.

Bozeman is a great little town; population is about 45,000; it is home to Montana State University.  It was founded by John Bozeman in 1864.

In 1863 John Bozeman, along with a partner named John Jacobs, opened the Bozeman Trail, a new northern trail off the Oregon Trail leading to the mining town of Virginia City through the Gallatin Valley and the future location of the city of Bozeman.

At about 1:30 we drove into downtown Bozeman, parked the truck, and then walked the streets.  The downtown area is about 10 square blocks, all of which have been designated as an Historic District, and it is a lovely place:

2017-09-19 Montana 09 Bozeman

2017-09-19 Montana 10 Bozeman

The more we walked, the colder it got.  The clouds grew blacker:

2017-09-19 Montana 11 Bozeman

2017-09-19 Montana 13 Bozeman

We stopped into a artisanal distillery for a tasting and just to get warm…

Then we selected a restaurant called bisl for an early dinner.

It was Spectacular!

I’ve posted pictures of the food on my Facebook page, but suffice it to say that this is the best restaurant we’ve found in all of Montana…!

We were the first people through the door at 5:00 pm when they opened.  We opted to sit at the kitchen counter, where we could see and interact with the kitchen staff of chefs and preppers.

2017-09-19 Montana 14 Bozeman Dinner at bisl

It was great fun.  About halfway through the meal we realized that the owner was sitting at the table just behind us.

Not only was the food and the environment excellent, they gave us recommendations for restaurants in Missoula, where we will be for the next two nights…

After dinner we walked back to the truck and returned to the Villa.  An enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-18 Westbound; Through Wyoming and into Montana…

Long travel day today…

2017-09-18 Map Wyoming

We left Crooked Creek RV Park at about 8:00 am, in the very, very cold… We traveled north through Hill City, then Deadwood; we turned west and crossed over into Wyoming.

The drive was easy, uneventful, and a little boring…

2017-09-18 Wyoming 1

2017-09-18 Wyoming 2

Then we turned towards the north and on the horizon we could see snow-capped mountains, off to the west:

2017-09-18 Wyoming 3

As we continued north, towards Montana, we saw more…

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The actual views were better than these photos show…

We crossed over into Montana:

2017-09-18 Map Montana

And we headed into Billings, MT.  We stopped of at Costco to stock up on Kirkland Vita Rain bottled water (fake Vitamin Water, with even fewer vitamins than real Vitamin Water…) We have been looking for these since New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – none of the Costcos we found carried it.  I have had to substitute real Vitamin Water, and it is a poor substitute…

So we happily checked into the RV park; again we were exhausted – it was a long day… almost 400 miles, almost double of our preferred pace.  But there was no reason to stop any sooner; tomorrow we move to Bozeman.

Happy hours ensued, and an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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